Soon after the funeral for Joe Paterno started Wednesday, Penn State students, faculty and staff started lining up along the procession route.
Pretty soon, it seemed as if everyone on campus was waiting together to say goodbye to Joe Paterno.
What began on the social media site Facebook became a reality as Penn State students and faculty stood side by side, forming a human chain to guide Joe Paterno’s funeral procession through campus.
Outside the library named for the coaching great, students from our area wanted to be there to honor Paterno’s legacy.
“It’s more than powerful, it really is. It shows how much love is here within this community for one man and how one man can bring everyone together,” said Amanda Fanning of Scranton.
For blocks and blocks the Penn State community stood together providing a path on both sides of the street for the Paterno family. The hearse carrying JoePa to his final resting place.
“I would feel guilty staying at home. He meant so much to us. My husband and I for about 50 years we’ve been going to the games,” said Phyllis Smith of State College.
As the procession made its way toward Beaver Stadium, the hallowed ground where Joe Paterno walked the sidelines for decades, the fans and admirers wore their emotions on their faces.
Long-time fans tell Newswatch 16 losing Joe Paterno was just like losing a member of their family.
“My emotions are, I got to be part of some great legend, human being, philanthropist. To show the family how much we care important part of that for me today,” said Curtis Swagler of State College.
Not only was this a way for students and the university community to grieve for JoePa, it was, for some, a way to lean on each other through the loss of a man so many loved.
“He loved this place and loved everybody here. This is closure. It’s one of those legacies that will live on forever,” said Cathy Stout of Lewistown.